Archive for the ‘in.gredients to me’ Category
Join us in celebrating four years of zero waste, local food, and community at our free family-friendly 4th Anniversary Party on Saturday, August 6 from 6-9PM.
There will be live music by The Stovetop Rangers and Devin James Fry,KTonic Kombucha snowcones, live screen printing by Fine Southern Gentlemen, face painting by Sparklefingers Body Art, a photo booth, giant jenga with Workers Defense Project and more. In collaboration withJuiceLand and Johnson’s Backyard Garden, Hops and Grain will be brewing their signature small-batch Watermelon Brown Ale, Common Denominator. Austin-based companies Zhi Tea, Cat Spring Tea, Kosmic Kombucha, Third Coast Coffee Roasting Company, Boulanger Fermentations, Delysia Chocolatier, Fortitude Provisions and Joe’s Organics will join the party with samples and stories about their history with in.gredients and their work to support the store’s mission.
A portion of the proceeds from our 4th Anniversary Party will be donated to our incredible non-profit Community Partner, Workers Defense Project, an Austin-based organization that advocates for marginalized workers.
Join in.gredients in celebrating four years of slinging local groceries and pouring local pints with the incredible community that has grown around its mission. RSVP here.
Stephanie Ciancio lives in San Fransisco but insists on taking a trip to in.gredients every time she visits her best friend in Austin. Stephanie’s commitment to living a zero waste lifestyle and changing how she shops has led her to start Nesting So Hard, a service that helps people reorganize their kitchens and commit to zero waste habits.
in: How did you hear about in.gredients?
SC: I think maybe Pinterest or Facebook, it was something that friends of mine shared. My best friend Suzanne lives in Austin, when I came here I asked her, “Please take me to this place!” That was a couple years ago, and when I’m back in town I’m like, “Let’s go to in.gredients again!”
in: So you always come to in.gredients when you’re in Austin?
in: What do you like about in.gredients?
SC: I love that it’s a cute little shop that helps people buy exactly what they need and not what they don’t – which is the food that you eat and not necessarily a bunch of extra packaging.
in: Do you try to live a zero-waste lifestyle?
SC: I’m a little obsessive about it. My husband is very understanding. I won’t actually throw away clear plastic. I collect it and take it to the one place it can be recycled; so I try not to get it in the first place. We live in San Francisco, and we compost. And I miss composting when I travel. I had to go on a restricted diet for my digestive health, and I started cooking a lot. And that’s when I got into shopping for bulk foods like quinoa and millet. I get a farm subscription for the produce. It’s a fun thing to play at, to get to the zero waste lifestyle. I like to approach it like a game, like how do we get more of what we want and less of what we don’t want rather than demonizing anything. I grew up shopping at Publix, but it’s so much more fun to shop at a pretty place that approaches food from a different angle and has farm relationships and local sourcing.
in: What is your advice for people looking to live a zero waste lifestyle?
SC: That’s a great question because that’s what I’ve just started doing as a service. I help people makeover their kitchens. And the starting point is, what do you like to cook? What do you like to eat – can you cook that? What ingredients do you use a lot of? And how can you streamline getting ahold of those ingredients, whether it’s a CSA delivery or having a system of containers that you always have. It’s so great to know that we can eat most of our meals at home and that most of what we need can be purchased in bulk. I had a commitment to my health that had me cook and eat in a different way. I no longer went to the grocery store when I remembered, it was part of my lifestyle to procure the food that I prepare and eat. You can create a system where you have containers in your car trunk. Or you can create a system where you have a bag of containers ready to go and you create a shopping list, and when you realize there are a lot of things on your list you grab the bag and you go. For me it was a progression. I still buy things I wasn’t planning on buying. But if you look back 5 or 10 years ago, no one every brought their bags, and now it’s like “Oh I forgot my bags this time.” So there’s been a shift already.
in: What’s the name of your business?
SC: Nesting So Hard. I do one-day kitchen makeovers, and I focus on using Mason jars and getting people really acquainted and familiarized and falling in love with their local bulk grocer.
Read more about Nesting So Hard on Stephanie’s blog.
Photo by Suzanne Pressman, Pressman Studio
Interested in getting your hands dirty and learning how to garden? Join us for our Garden Volunteer day this Saturday, 6/18 from 9-11:30AM! Email Josh at firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up.
Hey everybody! Jessica here. I haven’t posted in a few days because I have been busy coordinating with some of our future suppliers (i.e. folks whose products we’ll be carrying in the store when we open). Though I’ve missed blogging, I have to say, I’m super excited to keep finding out about the abundance of locally-made and locally-sourced foods and products (with pure ingredients!) available right here in Austin. Isn’t it great that in one city you can find anything from cucumbers to kombucha?!
(image: Boggy Creek Farm, 1.5 mi from in.gredients, via Greening Austin Daily)
Brian’s an Austin native with a passion for intelligent city design and sustainability. When he’s not busy helping in.gredients get off the launchpad, he loves cycling, drawing maps, and great conversations!
I walked into my co-working space yesterday with a sack lunch – that is, a reusable bag filled with a ceramic plate, a cutting board, a fork and knife, and three glass containers full of leftovers. I didn’t bring my espresso machine. If it fit in the bag, though, I would have…
Some insist there’s a level of social appropriateness I may not be reaching by carting half my kitchen into a small workspace every day. The important thing, I contend, is that I’m not wasting anything – no paper bags, no packets of black pepper, no foil, no plastic cutlery, no nothing. All it took was a little change in thinking.
When the Brothers Lane and I began planning in.gredients over a year ago, we knew we’d be challenging norms and proposing changes in behavior even we’ve had to spend time adjusting to. For example, in the past year my wife and I have switched to hankies and cleaning rags in our house – eliminating tissues and paper towels in order to cut down on household waste. For the first few weeks, it wasn’t easy! I remember having guests over to the house and thinking “wait… we’ll have to give special instructions about where to put used hankies,” and later spilling something (I always do) in the kitchen and instinctively looking for the paper towels.
In terms of packaging waste, up until recently we’ve had the “ignorance is(was) bliss” experience. After becoming aware of the facts about how much packaging is wasted in the US – and how much of it’s actually unnecessary for product quality and safety – we could no longer walk into a store without thinking “there’s packaging… everywhere… just imagine the… oh my…” We’ve discovered the simple brilliance of reusing containers at the store – and how much needless consumption it saves. Sure, packaging that’s not necessary for product integrity can be convenient for customers for the purpose of portability and portion size, and can also serve rightfully as marketing space for the manufacturer – but at what (and whose) cost?
This was our eventual epiphany: a majority of the waste we generate makes our lives really, really convenient. Putting individual bags of chips that may or may not be recyclable in kids’ lunch boxes makes getting out the door in the morning a whole lot easier. And grabbing a paper towel, wiping, and tossing makes cleaning a breeze! But we realized that as great as these things are, we were making our lives easier at the expense of the environment. And when we thought further, that expense was actually billed to us in two ways: (1) in taxes, since the more waste we generate, the more our local government has to tax its citizens for waste management services, and (2) as a negative health impact, since we can’t get away with storing mass waste on the earth without it impacting the air we breathe, the soil our food grows in, or the water that sustains life.
In short, we realized we can’t just think about us. We’ve got to think about the collective health and prosperity of our community. The studies done on consumer waste are overwhelmingly clear: as a society, we have a waste problem, and it’s got to stop. I’m excited in.gredients can take this on as a business and not only make it easier for folks like us to avoid excess waste and make changes to our lifestyles… but to show other businesses that minimizing waste as a retailer is completely possible, and educate the public on how easy it can be to live sustainably.
That’s in.gredients to me.
Jessica’s an Austin native with a passion for environmental issues and an unshakable commitment to improving sustainability. When she’s not busy blogging for in.gredients, she loves studying ecology, thrift store shopping, bees, and riding bicycles!
Hello! I’m Jessica Malsky, the newest member of the in.gredients team. One of the things I’ve become most excited about in anticipation of the in.gredients store opening: it’ll be so much easier to eat seasonal, local, organic/natural, produce. Let me clarify – it’ll be easier to eat it because it’ll be easier to find it! As I’m an eco-friendly kind of gal, it’s been a personal goal of mine for some time to go local and organic, but it’s been tough going.
I think we’re all too familiar with the fact that the vast majority of produce available at most grocery stores isn’t locally sourced (in part due to the constant consumer demand for non-seasonal produce) – something that kind of gets me down. What’s more, I’ve found that even my favorite small, local grocery stores don’t have a great selection of local and organic produce. Farmers’ markets seem to be the best bet in the hunt for seasonal/local/organic. And while I adore farmers’ markets, more often than not my schedule isn’t compatible with market days and times (unfortunately). Can anyone relate?
So naturally, I’m really excited about the fact that when in.gredients debuts, it’ll be like having a supplementary farmers’ market on call 7 days a week. No joke! In fact, some of the farms with booths at Central Texas farmers’ markets are the ones whose produce we’ll be carrying. But the window of opportunity to get at these farm-fresh goodies will be significantly wider, so no fret if you can’t make it to market day. Phew!
You could think of it this way: every day will be market day at in.gredients!
Intro from in.gredients
While it’s easy to be vegan in some areas, in others, it’s not. Vegan-friendliness depends on many factors: grocery store selection, restaurant choices, and most importantly, societal awareness. We’ve enjoyed meeting many of you in the last month and learning about your varying diets and nutritional goals – which ranged from “none” to gluten-free, paleo to vegan, and in a few cases, “just eat the colors of the rainbow.” Those we spoke with included Cassandra Johnson, who was excited to write this guest post for us!
In the post, Cassandra talks about her experience being vegan in Austin. While some claim Austin lacks in vegan alternatives – the subject of an Austin Monthly editorial this month – Cassandra’s perspective offers a sunnier outlook.
Cassandra has lived in Austin for over two-thirds of her life, and has been vegan for less than one-third of that time. She bakes, crafts, and occasionally karaokes (much to her dog’s chagrin) in South Austin.
Cassandra on being vegan in ATX
I’ve tried to escape Austin a few times. Once after high school and once after college, but this city keeps pulling me back. I’ve lived in Austin for a good chunk of time and though I’ve lived in and visited other cities around the world, I can’t really imagine living anywhere else. Well, maybe Amsterdam, but that might take some work.
I became vegan after college. Many of the friends in my feminist group in college, Alliance for a Feminist Option, were vegan, and many people assumed that I was vegan before I even went vegetarian. I tried going vegetarian or vegan a few times while in college, but that never really stuck. Once graduated and moved out of my parent’s house for good, I was able to fully commit to being vegetarian. While researching information about nutrition and reasons to stay vegetarian, I stumbled upon Vegan Freak radio. They gave some compelling arguments and great tips on how to maintain a vegan lifestyle. I decided, conveniently before Thanksgiving, to make the leap to veganism. I was only able to do so with the patience and support of my aforementioned vegan friends on speed dial.
Now that I’m vegan (six years, woot!), I have a renewed fondness for the city. In addition to having plenty of great things to do or see, there are so many vegan friendly businesses here. Eating out is a breeze. More than that, a good number of these places offer healthful options and are knowledgeable about where their food is grown. Often, if they don’t know, the waiters are willing to find out.
This made my transition from a mainly meat diet to a vegan diet much smoother. With the help of my friends on speed dial and helpful wait staff, I was able to ease into vegetarianism and, later, into veganism without some of the trials that vegans in other cities experienced. Austinites at these businesses were friendly to down right supportive.
It can sometimes be a challenge to find good options outside of the city. In far West Texas, I find myself wondering if the waiter is really telling the truth when they say that the beans have neither cheese nor lard nor hunk of bacon. In East Texas, I wonder if the rib joint I end up at has anything besides white bread for me to eat. Usually, I just take my own energy bars or smoothie mix.
While many major metropolitan areas now have a few restaurants that have veggie options, it can take some creativity. I find myself having to say no. A lot. I ask for a salad with no chicken, no cheese, no croutons, and no dressing. The resulting dish is not exactly a balanced or satisfying meal.
However, when I’m in Austin, I can go out with friends and say “yes!” Yes, I would like vegan chorizo (Kerbey Lane). Yes, I would like vegan queso (Guero’s). And, yes, I would like a Celeste’s Best vegan cupcake…thanks for asking!
I have a few favorite places (as you can see above) and some that I have yet to visit…including in.gredients, which I’m looking forward to. I’m always looking for a new gem, so tell me: what’s your favorite vegan place to eat?